Visibility Control for Reference Plans in Revit 2018


Reference planes are essential tools for creating our model families in schematic and design development. With heavy use, however, they tend to populate too much and make views in Reference Planes too busy.

When Reference Planes intended for plan view layout show in elevations or section elevations, the patience of a saint is needed when Reference Plane intended to be used in elevations become buried by the Reference Planes created for plan views.

There’s been lots of discussion on how to best deal with the abundance of excessive Reference Plans. My solution of choice? Highlight the ones I don’t need in a view, then right-click and select Hide in View>By Elements in the context menu.

hide in view

This worked, along with occasionally requiring the use of Reveal Hidden Elements to display the Reference Planes.

As shown in the image above, set Reveal Hidden Elements on. Then select and unhide any Reference Planes in a view.

What was needed was a way to create Sub-Categories of Reference Planes and the ability to control how they looked and its visibility in views—very much like that of a Drafting Line.

In Revit 2018, a new feature allows the control.

We can make Reference Planes with a subcategory for Plans, Elevations or Sections while controlling the line style and visibility in other views. Creating several Reference Planes subcategories can be done from the Manage Tab in Object Styles in the Annotation Tab.

We can add several in one step for any project or in the template file. We can come back and make some tweaks, such as Rename, or edit the line type at a later time, just as like in any Revit component object property.

reference planes

You can then add Reference Planes subcategories on the fly by just sketching one and selecting the Reference Plane you want to assign a new named subcategory. Then, from the Subcategory panel in the ribbon, select <Create New Subcategory> and assign a name and tweak the Projection Line Weight, Line Color, and Line Pattern.

A good word to describe David is “mentor.” Whether he’s doing project management, troubleshooting, or training, he personalizes his communications for each person to ensure they will be successful. Customers like the way he provides the details they need to understand both the techniques and the underlying concepts.